Labor, unions, CEC ridicule Coalition push for RET to be scrapped

Labor, unions, CEC ridicule Coalition push for RET to be scrapped

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Labor, clean energy industry lampoon Coalition’s “crazy brave” attempts to bring end to popular renewable energy target.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Shadow Climate Change and Energy Minister Mark Butler has attacked calls from Government backbenchers to scrap the Renewable Energy Target (RET). Labeling the push, which former PM Tony Abbott initially advanced, a “hard-right agenda,” Butler noted that Malcolm Turnbull has been silent on the matter.

The Australian reported today that a growing number of Coalition MPs are arguing that Australia should follow suit if the U.S. pulls out of the Paris climate change under President Trump.

The Australian reports that two unnamed Coalition MPs have said that scrapping the RET is “getting a lot of traction very quickly” and that the idea is “widespread” amongst conservative ranks.


barnaby white rock wind

When asked on ABC radio about this claim, deputy PM Barnaby Joyce said that the government does not intend to walk away from the Paris agreement. However, he did not explicitly support the RET.

The New England electorate of Joyce, pictured above, has seen some of the biggest investments in wind and solar energy over the past 12 months.

“We don’t sign agreements to pull out of them,” said Joyce. “We go into them, we negotiate with the belief that if you sign a piece of paper, you should be sticking to it.”

Butler’s attack came as the unions also complained against the latest Coalition attempts to stymie the renewable energy industry, just as large scale investment was finally poised to take off after years of under-investments and reliance on schemes such as the ACT’s or from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, an institution the Coalition has sought to de-fund.

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton also tweeted his surprise, saying that “pollies must be crazy brave” to call for such a popular policy to be slashed.

kane thornton tweet

Labor’s Mark Butler says that Joyce’s response is inadequate to support the renewable sector and to reassure investors.

“All we’ve heard this morning from the Deputy Minister Barnaby Joyce is a resounding refusal by him to endorse the renewable energy target that the Government itself settled less than two years ago with the industry, and with the Australian Parliament,” said Butler.

“Energy policy in this country is becoming a shambles and a real threat to the economy and Australian households and businesses under this Government.”

Butler said that the 23% RET can be achieved without posing a threat to energy security.

“We can do this in a reliable way,” said Butler. “All of the experts agree with that, the Chief Scientist, the Industry itself, and we’ve got the jobs and the investment just waiting.

“We can’t deal with interruptions to confidence like the sort of Trumpian agenda we now see within the Liberal party in Australia.”









Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  1. howardpatr 4 years ago

    Surprise, surprise – once again,Turncoat Turnbull silent when confronted by the mutterings of the LNP’s RWRNJs.

    • Chris Drongers 4 years ago

      I am withholding comment until I hear what Turnbull plans to do.

      What, Turnbull doesn’t know?

      • Cooma Doug 4 years ago

        Ahhh come on Chris. Give him 5 bucks and a hug.

        • Chris Drongers 4 years ago

          Turnbull is into innovation. I’ll give him something by Tap’n’Go and send him an emoji.

          Tough if he doesn’t have a mobile phone. And once kicked out of the house on the hill he won’t have an address to receive his Centrelink notice that he owes the Australian people several billion dollars for wasting our time (payable in 28 days, his case review might be complete in 43 days if it is straightforward and we’ll refund the money).

          Fortunately the climate is warming so the Canberra winter won’t be too cold.

      • Chris Fraser 4 years ago

        You’re waiting to hear about what He’s been told to do …..

  2. aussiearnie 4 years ago

    Let’s ditch the RET so we can better wedge labour. Do they actually understand that politics is supposed to be the means and not the end?

  3. trackdaze 4 years ago

    liberals are wetting the bed again.

  4. Cooma Doug 4 years ago

    They have been using alternative facts for a long time.

  5. Malcolm M 4 years ago

    Critics of the RET need only hold the government to account for the policy it was elected on, and is still on the LNP’s website, “Under the Renewable Energy Target, more than 23% of Australia’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2020”

    Remember that one of the key reasons Tony lost the confidence of the electorate was because of his lies – promises before the election that were quickly revoked.

  6. Farmer Dave 4 years ago

    I find the psychology of the Coalition’s opposition to renewable energy interesting. After all, they say they are all for individual freedom, and rooftop solar PV (with or without storage) is a good enabler of individual energy freedom. I know some of the regulars here will say that the pollies are just following their donor’s orders, but their opposition seems to me to be more visceral than that. Their attitude is so devoid of reason, that something more emotional must be going on.

    Here are two of my theories about this:

    1. Testosterone. Perhaps renewable energy is simply not macho enough. After all, coal mines and power stations are big, full of machinery, noise and possible danger. What could possibly be more macho? Offshore oiland gas platforms are also full of machinery, noise, are accessible only by helicopter, and full of macho types, some of whom have job titles like “toolpusher” and “roughneck”. The men who run these enterprises (and they are mostly men) wield enormous power because of their wealth and central role in society. I think some of the male pollies are simply awestruck by such macho people with such big toys. Compared with such a macho extravaganza, surely a field of blue glass panels just sitting there in the sun is simply not going to cut the mustard.

    2. Fear. I wonder how many of these pollies have a dark secret fear: that the greenies might be right, and our society might be totally unsustainable. Such thoughts are not to be tolerated, and the people saying them are obviously dangerous, deluded maniacs who must be stopped before they pollute the minds of right-thinking folk. How else to explain the absolute loathing that people like Erich Abetz have for environmentalists? Anything that greenies are for must be wrong!

    There could be a good PhD thesis is teasing out this.

    • solarguy 4 years ago

      My theory Dave is that their greedy weak heads. Simple as that!

Comments are closed.

Get up to 3 quotes from pre-vetted solar (and battery) installers.